Sunday, 19 December 2010

Christmas home tour and other random Monday stuff

Here's a glimpse into our house this season. I had to be strategic in placing things. I found myself wishing for a mantle, more shelves and definitely more high-up places little hands can't reach. Our tree is a fake we've had for years. Our plan is to start buying a real tree beginning next year. We'll keep this one to put up in the basement.

 We live in a modest house - it's a three bedroom semi. Sometimes when I find myself getting carried away with envy on visits to friends' and family's homes that are larger and more lavish, I remember a few things: (1) this house is affordable while we have small kids in daycare (2) I'm busy enough, I don't need any additional square footage to clean, (3) Not having fancy things is good  when you have small kids and most importantly (4) I have everything in life to make me happy right now!

The Christmas card clothes line (above) was looking a little sparse this year, so I grabbed some cards from last year to fill it up. People just don't send cards like they used to. I sent out 50 cards. At Costco you can do a photo card with a greeting and a background of your choice for a great price. 50 cards with envelopes for $22.00 taxes in. This year I saved on stamps when I could, by hand delivering to people I knew I'd be seeing or bulk mailing (like to my friends at work).

Shaune and I painted these scary looking paper mache figures on our very first Christmas together, thirteen years ago. I did the angel, painted her brown because at the time I couldn't find one single brown-skinned decoration. Shaune did a good job with the reindeer but the eyes he painted make it look like it just escaped crazyville. I almost didn't put these out this year but Shaune insisted, arguing for their sentimental value.

 I made the garland on the mirror from some decorations Shaune's parents gave us from their stock. I tied the little gift box tree ornaments onto some yarn. The tiny Christmas tree on the table is a dollar store find that I decorated. I'm stunned that it's been sitting on the kitchen table for almost two weeks and Deaglan has not once tried to dismantle it. Stunned!
 I had some mini canvases from two years ago on which I glued wrapping paper. I have several of these all over the house. They cost nothing and add some merriment. There are tiny ornaments stuck to the window too but they're almost invisible in the light. I did this on most of the windows on the main floor.
 We love our neighbours and I know they don't read this blog but I have a confession to make. I cut this greenery from their trees. Shaune was appalled when I told him but in my defence, I only cut the pieces that were buried in snow. I think  I actually did them a favour.
 This morning Shaune called me a "nerd Mom" when I got misty because Deaglan needed a haircut and I couldn't bring myself to agree. He asked me what was next for me,
appliqué Christmas vests? Maybe.

I mean if you consider that the happiest I've ever been was when we switched our SUV for a minivan, and get downright giddy at the thought of watching Deaglan's eyes light up when he opens his presents on Christmas morning, maybe a reindeer vest is not too far off.

I think I could improve this planter for next year. Most of the materials were found in fields and woods nearby. I had the planter and ribbon and used some of the left over ornaments from the tree. On a walk recently, we found this empty bird's nest - it had fallen out of a tree. Deaglan went crazy because we regularly read a story by P.D. Eastman called The Best Nest, and he was convinced that we had found the best nest.

And finally, we baked cookies (again) this week. Because Shaune loves to cook, and is unmatched in the kitchen, I've sort of let go of all things culinary. I know I used to cook before we met but the lack of practice has led to a serious lack in confidence. However, motherhood doesn't let you get away without doing some baking and learning at least a handful of easy, popular dishes for your kids. I enjoyed making these sugar cookies (I used a Martha Stewart recipe). Deaglan helped mix the ingredients and cut the dough, but I waited till he was napping before mixing different coloured icing and decorating each cookie.

I'm joining in for Miscellany Monday and Remind me Monday. Please check out both of these blogs to read other posts.



  1. I am seriously impressed. We, too, live in a "modest" home, but you have captured the heart and love and comfort of real living. Nothing modest about that.

  2. I love all the little homemade touches you've made. That's great!

    Love the photo looking through the window.

    Amen to having everything in life to make you happy. I so feel like that too.

    We sent out about the same amount of cards and only received about 16 thus far. There's still time. It actually makes me feel better to hear this. The question is - did you get our card?

  3. All these little things make the best of Christmas... Gosh! i am just waiting for it so badly.. :-)

  4. Kim, You are so creative!!! I love the garland, the greenery, the art...awesome. It is my pleasure to visit your blog. I hope we can say hello face-to-face one day as well. Continue to enjoy this fun season. ;)

  5. I love those little paper mache figures... even if you are right about the reindeer looking like it escaped from crazyville. What a sweet reminder of your first Christmas together... I would totally keep those!

  6. I love the Christmas card clothes line! Newest follower :)

  7. Hello! You commented on my blog about my 1 month old son sleeping for 7 hours during the night...I'm not really sure how we do it, but my first son slept through the night when he was two months old too...I may have just been blessed with good sleepers! I do co-sleep with my son still...maybe that could have something to do with it? I'm not really sure. :) Doesn't help huh? haha
    By the way....Beautiful decorations!

  8. I love all of your decorations, they are very nice:)

  9. Visiting from Misc Monday ...

    I love your decorations and your tree is great! I have a little one too, it's hard to decorate with little hands that want to touch everything! Your home looks so cozy and festive!

    Lulu :)

  10. Kim - I admit, I haven't read this post, or most others lately. Too tired, busy, etc to do much blogging. But wanted to recommend the book 12 hours sleep by 12 weeks old to you - we used the method when Fiona was 4 months old and it worked like a charm. We just used it for Cal and it FINALLY worked - at almost 8 months. You simply have to accept that he WILL cry. Cal cried for THREE hours the first night. Heartbreaking? YES. But it worked, and he won't remember it. Sleep far away from baby's room with earplugs or a noise machine or music. It will eventually work - you NEED sleep! You'll be a better mom, wife, friend, etc with it. Thinking of you and sending you warm, healing, sleeping thoughts too!

  11. I love that you cut a bit of the neighbor's trees for your decorating! So funny. Although maybe not so funny since I was recently bumbling out in back of our condos cutting from trees behind our neighbor's unit...

    Thanks for visiting my blog from MM today. I'm following you now :)

  12. all the decorations are lovely! you make me want to decorate!!!! i do have my tree up and i have been collecting hallmarks singing snowmen for years....thats all i have out. hopefully we can do some cookies this week! thanks for sharing a peek in your house. you gave me some great ideas for next year!!!!

  13. all the decorations are lovely! you make me want to decorate!!!! i do have my tree up and i have been collecting hallmarks singing snowmen for years....thats all i have out. hopefully we can do some cookies this week! thanks for sharing a peek in your house. you gave me some great ideas for next year!!!!

  14. Thanks for the visit, and the follow! I am following you back :)

    I love your list of 4 reasons you love your house - I am right there with you! It is often hard to see what all of my friends have - I am happy for them, mind you - but I just feel embarrassed that my own house doesn't measure up and so I rarely have anyone over here. Your reasons are a PERFECT match for me!

  15. What a sweet and adorable entry! And I love your decorations.

  16. Home is where the heart is, and obviously, your heart is in this pretty decorated home.

    Have a wonderful holiday!


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